Whether you’re familiar with “managed services,” the “cloud,” or “managed cloud services,” it can be helpful to review these terms as well as potential benefits of managed IT cloud services to your organization. This analysis piece will discuss the managed cloud services market as well as key advantages and components of a managed cloud engagement.
What are managed IT cloud services?
Managed cloud services are IT services that are hosted and managed by a third party. They are part of the larger managed IT services market, which consists of the management of hosted (or “cloud”) and on-premises information technology. Adoption of managed cloud services is growing as more providers enter the market, organizations seek more flexible IT arrangements, and the growing complexity of IT drives the need for supplementary personnel and consulting.
How prevalent are managed IT cloud services?
About half of SMBs report using cloud services, though this doesn’t necessarily mean services that are also managed by a third party. The number of companies leveraging managed cloud services is certainly lower, but it’s expected to grow dramatically in the years ahead. As shown in the chart below, only managed mobility services are expected to see a greater spike in interest than managed cloud services.
Figure 1: Expected change in managed IT services demand in next five years
Source: Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends primary research
What are the benefits of managed IT cloud services?
Many of the benefits of managed cloud services mirror those of managed IT services. For instance, managed cloud services dramatically reduce capital costs, add stability and transparency to your costs, let you scale up or down as needed, and often provide IT expertise for a more affordable price than hiring or using your own employees.
What are some managed cloud services components?
Managed cloud services aren’t just a large single offering, but instead a list of possible services and capabilities a technology partner can provide. Here are just a few of these potential offerings:
- Cloud servers: A managed cloud services provider can supply you with cloud servers that are configured with the right amount of random access memory (RAM), storage space, and bandwidth to fit your requirements, applications, and business processes.
- Backup and recovery: A managed cloud provider can continuously back up your applications, files, records, settings, and other data. In the event of a disaster, you can quickly and fully recover this important information.
- Off-site data storage: Off-site storage is not only a “mirror” of your data files, but it can provide additional space for files that outgrow your on-site storage capability. Similarly, some database files are simply too large to create and maintain effectively and economically in-house.
- Help desk and cloud support: Managed cloud services tend to offer a level of personnel and support that is impractical and/or unaffordable for businesses (e.g., 24/7 technical support). This can complement the staff you already have in place.
- Cloud advisory services: A managed cloud services provider can make recommendations on how to better use cloud services and solutions, as well as identify new opportunities for using the cloud.
- Developer support and training: A managed cloud services provider can help you develop new cloud-based applications, operations, and workflows for your business. They can take the lead on this work, or work in partnership with your in-house staff.
Managed IT cloud services is the hosting and management of IT services by a third party. It’s growing in adoption as organizations seek new and affordable ways to store information, streamline workflows, and serve employees and clients. Organizations can use managed cloud services for as many components of their IT infrastructure as they desire, with the option to scale up or down as needed.